Delhi Capitals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s act of stealing a single when the ball ricocheted off the willow of his skipper Rishabh Pant in their IPL 2021 match against Kolkata Knight Riders has snowballed into a massive controversy. The likes of KKR skipper Eoin Morgan and former Australian legend Shane Warne have raised fingers on Ashwin’s ‘sportsmanship spirit’.
While the war of words continues on social, former India opener Virender Sehwag has blamed KKR wicketkeeper and former captain Dinesh Karthik for not playing down the incident to the media.
“I consider Dinesh Karthik the biggest culprit in all this. If he had not talked about what Morgan said, there would have been no such uproar. If he had said, ‘It was nothing much, just an argument, it happens in the game, move on,’ then it would have come out in that sense only. What was the need for an explanation that someone thinks this or that?” Sehwag was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz website.
In the virtual post-match press conference following the KKR vs DC match, Karthik had claimed he played peacemaker saying, “Rahul Tripathi threw the ball, it hit Rishabh Pant, and then it ricocheted off that. Then Ashwin called for it and they started to run. I don’t think Morgan appreciates that. He is somebody who, when the ball hits the batsman or the pad, expects them not to run in the spirit of cricket. It’s a very grey area and a very interesting topic. I have my own opinion on it but at the moment I’d just say I am happy I played peacemaker and things have come to a good standstill right now.”
Sehwag recounted an incident from his playing days with Punjab Kings to elaborate on why he believes Karthik should have stayed quiet. “Even when I was playing for Punjab, Ashwin dismissed Maxwell, picked up some dust and blew it off (in celebration). I didn’t like that scene either but I didn’t come out publicly to say that he should not have done that or it was against the spirit of the game, although MS Dhoni was very angry about it and scolded him a lot too,” said Sehwag.
The former Indian opener stressed the importance of players leaving what happens on the ground inside the ground. “What happens inside should remain inside. If more things from the inside start coming out, I can guarantee every match will have something like this that will cause an uproar. The spirit of the game also says that players should leave what happens inside the ground as is and move on,” said Sehwag.
DC skipper Rishabh Pant and Ashwin had picked a second run off the last ball of the 19th over and that seemed to have irked the KKR outfit as some consider it to be against the guidelines of Fair Play to take a run when the ball thrown by the fielder ricochets off the batter.
It finally needed former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik to come and stop the heated chat. DC coach Ricky Ponting was also seen speaking to umpire Nitin Menon during the innings break. While one isn’t sure about the topic that was discussed by the two, it could be the same point.